Camera phones

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Noel and I got ourselves a couple new Tracfones this week.

All the phones anymore tout that they include a camera. My question is, when the picture looks as bad as this, what’s the point?

Cottey in snow

No it’s not supposed to be super high quality, but this is horrible!


Taking the fun out of it

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For several years I thought my cheap-o digital point and shoot did not offer any way to adjust the exposure. Then one day I stumbled across the option buried many menus deep.

And you know what? The camera instantly became less-fun. I kid you not. Now instead of just enjoying myself and snapping photos, the thought is constantly in the back of my mind, “should I add or take away some exposure here?”

I wish I’d never found it.

Recently I purchased my hunting and fishing license for the year and I was reminded of a similar experience.

Back when I picked up fishing again as an adult I spent a pretty decent sum on a fancy rod and reel from one of the big name outdoor stores.

And you know what? I spent more time untangling the fishing line than I did actually fishing. I am fully willing to admit the problem might have been more me than the rod, but it was a decidedly un-fun activity.

But one day, after about the bazillionth bird’s nest. I hopped in the car and went to Wal-Mart where I picked up a Zebco 202 spin casting rod and reel for about $10.

And I love it! I have not bought any other rod and reel since. I catch tons of fish. This photo was after fishing a little farm pond at a friend’s place.

If I wear it out, I buy a new one. But I don’t think I’ve worn one out yet. In fact, I tend to give them away. I like to share! And the price allows me to do that without a second thought.

Anyway, thinking about these memories has really re-enforced my idea that more complicated things make for less enjoyable times.

Not that there isn’t a time and place for complicated equipment, but when you’re just out trying to have some fun it really rather detracts from it.


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I was so dissapointed in the series finale of the television show “Medium” this past week. I was really pissed.

And here’s why (spoiler warning!):

It was just plain sadistic.

Instead of giving us a good, well-thought out closure to the story the writer(s) decided to toy with our emotions for no apparent reason.

The show opens and Joe dies in an airplane crash. The whole episode is dedicated to Allison finding more and more evidence Joe actually survived and is living with amnesia in Mexico.

Then we get all the way to the end, Allison finds Joe … yay! Oh wait, no that was all the dream. Joe really did die. We get to see Allison’s heart breaking while ghost-Joe stands in the shadows. Then it jumps 40 years into the future and we get to see Allison die of old age and reunite with Joe in the afterlife.

I suppose the jump to old-Allison was supposed to be some sort of pacifier but it didn’t work. It was a shoddy, crappy ending which took someone all of 10 minutes to write.

The show, actors, audience and story all deserved better.

Orange blob orgasms

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I mean come on! Look at its hips! It’s totally having an orgasm over this phone!


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I write a lot about how little money we live on. But it occurred to me the other day I have never really touched on the subject of welfare, and I began to wonder how many folks think we’re only able to live this way because we rely on it.

So I wanted to make this unequivocal statement:

Noel and I do not take any form of welfare whatsoever.

It’s not that we are too proud to ask for assistance, or that we think getting help when you need it is wrong. We’ve asked for and gotten help in the past (though never from the government).

The government programs are broken, there are too many abuses of the system. I’ve seen too many folks using their EBT cards to buy food, then immediately turning around to purchase expensive clothing, booze or cigarettes with cash.

It has long been our goal to learn to live well on very little income, but one of the primary requirements in that journey has been to do it on our own two feet. And — thank God — we are.

Cute TV ad

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This is a really cute ad.

But am I the only one bothered by this kind of technology?

What prevents someone from sending nasty pictures to my printer?

Life as we know it

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Recently, scientists announced they had trained bacteria to eat arsenic. It caused a furor because these bacteria were supposedly living without one of the so-called basic building blocks of life.

This led scientists to come to the conclusion that life on other planets might not resemble life on Earth.

And I’m thinking, O RLY?

Why is this such a novel idea?

Are we really so narrow-minded as to assume that any and all life must develop in the same manner as it has here?

Personally, I blame Star Trek.

Now I really enjoy the show, but it has always frustrated me that nearly every single alien life form depicted is very human-like. The aliens are so human as to be completely compatible with human technologies. Even going so far as to be capable of breeding with humans.

I can understand the reasons the show would do this. It’s much easier (and less expensive) to put pointy prosthetics on the ears of a human actor than to create a truly unique life form.

But given the unimaginable size of the universe and the probable existence of innumerable planets, and given the fact that most planets probably have conditions different than Earth’s; I would imagine it will turn out that life comes in an incredible variety.

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